Ernest Hogan (1865 – 1909)
The first African-American entertainer to produce and star on Broadway and helped create the musical genre of ragtime.
The song that made him famous, “All Coons Look Alike to Me” was an enormous hit and highly controversial. The success of this last song created many derogatory imitations, known as “coon songs” because of their use of racist and stereotypical images of blacks. While Hogan was considered one of the most talented performers and comedians of his day, his contribution to the racist “coon song” craze haunted him. Before his death, he stated that he “regretted” using the racial slur in his song.